Saturday, April 15, 2006

The bet from Hell

Ah the joys of public transportation. As a gimp I get to experience the singular delight that is boarding a conveyance owned by the city. The rapture that ensues when one relies on these coaches of the damned is almost indescribable.

Such was my fate this sunny Friday afternoon. And to compound matters they, meaning metro Denver’s Access-a-Ride program, were 45 minutes late.

My transport motors into my doctor’s parking lot as I’m doing a slow burn and cursing my luck up one side and down the other. The uber van stops and the driver crawls out. Now, picture if you will the human epitome of a hermaphrodite. Got it yet…let me know when you’re there. OK. This driver, presumably female judging from her voice and quite frankly I wasn’t interested in gazing at her face, had a full on pimp daddy mullet, the kind made infamous by Billy *insert single syllable sir name here* Cyrus and the members of Def Leppard. But since she was female ‘twas more of a pimp mamma mullet. Her figure conjured up visions of The March Of The Penguins and her voice was as appealing as finger nails on a chalk board. She was a vision of nightmarish proportions, just truly hideous. Then I got the added joy of listening to her bitch for the hour it took to tote my fat ass home.

Which reminded me of a story from the days of yore…

Once, a long time ago, a group of nine innocents, or scoundrels, embarked on a rousing adventure. You see, this group of n’er do wells had a habit of comparing and contrasting the quality of female company we kept. There were those among us who had better luck than others and didn’t give the less fortunate a moment’s rest. I think it was Q-Tip who initially proposed a wager. We’d each throw in a hundred bucks and whomever had sex with the raunchiest girl won the pot, a cool $900. Yes, we were a bunch of self-absorbed 18-19 year olds, we were not nice people.

The parameters were as such: we had four weeks; we had to meet the girl, woo her, get a picture of the two of us together; the honor system was strictly enforced and no images of a lurid kind were permitted; at least three members of our group had to be eye witnesses at some point prior or post intercourse; condoms were to be used at all times; you had as many opportunities to hook up as you wanted but only your worst/best effort counted; we were restricted to one entry; winner take all. The honor system was something none of us ever tampered with as a violation would warrant a swift beating and prolonged ostracism. And the rationale behind the smut photo prohibition was two-fold; no one wanted to risk getting sued later on, and we had no desire to see each others’ privates or technique.

Thus the stage was set.

A couple members of our merry band took to the challenge with boyish enthusiasm and tried to connect with a veritable gaggle of gruesome girls but most of us were too frightened of the Faustian implications of such practices. So we inevitably singled out one target and dove in.

Spaz, the proverbial loud mouth of the group, found a girl within the first 48 hours of our squalid little contest who had literally just walked out of jail and bore an eerie resemblance to Abe Vigoda. She was in the classical sense a toad. Not toadish but full-on toad. So Spaz was the front runner for a couple weeks.

Then Mullet Man trumped Spaz’s lump. Let me tell you this girl was frighteningly ugly. She was 5’3” and fully 300 pounds. She looked like a globe with feet. And the look on Mullet Man’s face as he showed us the Polaroid from the night before was of utter terror. The previous night MM had called myself, Lurch, and Q-Tip and said he needed witnesses. So I picked up my buds and we made a not-so-subtle appearance at Mullet’s house just as he was cooking fettuccine alfredo and turning on the charm. When we saw Mullet’s conquest we had to stifle the urge to laugh hysterically. Mullet had that look on his face every kid gets just before your crazy aunt Mildred, the one who smells of formaldehyde and has those flabby arms that ripple when she waves, squeezes you and kisses your cheek. I honestly felt sorry for MM and I also got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, that sense of imminent defeat. I cringed at the thought of having to “top” Mullet’s effort. Time was running short, I had four days, and I was broke and desperate.

Two days later I was at a bar here in Denver, a big place downtown known as Thirsty’s, which was eventually torn down to make way for the Pepsi Center. On Wednesdays & Fridays, Thirsty’s had $1 pitchers of swag 3.2 beer. On these nights they didn’t even pass out cups, you just drank from the pitcher. It was a cheep way to get drunk and hook up and I was on a mission. So, Lurch, Mullet, Hollywood, Marky Mark, and myself all piled into M’s Audi with our fake ID’s and about $10 each. Now, when drinking 3.2 beer it’s necessary to do a little “pre partying” unless one wants to spend two hours waiting in the men’s room line. So I’d downed half a fifth of Bacardi and had that perfect buzz going, the buzz where you’re at that I-don’t-give-a-shit stage but not too groggy or hyper. I gave my ID to the bouncer and he gave me the obligatory condescending once over then strapped that stupid plastic band around my wrist, the unmistakable signal I was allowed to drink my balls off.

I had walked literally twenty feet when I felt a pinch on my butt. Thirsty’s was a meat market so such gestures were the norm. I turned around to say some smartass quip towards my assailant. What I saw after I did the ol’ 180 made me literally have to squelch the urge to gag. Standing before me was the most beastly swamp hag I’d ever laid eyes on. I've seen gargoyles with more sex appeal. Mullet, who was the front runner in our bet, was equally repulsed yet disheartened at the same time. When Hollywood, Markey Mark, and Lurch saw her they got that resignation of defeat look, and Hollywood even bowed as if to say “you’re king if you do”. So, I reluctantly turned my gaze to my new found lady friend. There are literally no words that can describe her visage. Looking at her I flashed to Rodney Dangerfield in Caddy Shack, “Last time I saw a mouth like that it had a hook in it.” The woman looked like a haddock. But she was my ticket to victory and I was broke, drunk, and ergo had no conscience. So I swallowed my pride, and four pitchers of beer, had the flower girl who sold roses for $3 a piece and also took Polaroid’s for five bucks snap our picture twice, and consummated our arrangement later on that night.

As the deadline wound down we all convened at Mullet’s house and tallied the results. Our entry pictures were shown and the vote paired down the entries to two finalists, myself and Mullet. I won by unanimous decision and carried the title. Strangely, the $900 was spent on God only knows what, presumably a massive amount of pot and alcohol, and my plan to purchase this ’68 Bronco never came to fruition.

The moral of the story…there is none, just conveying a sordid chapter in the life that was the Shrub, circa 1989. Whatever became of that girl…who knows. Whatever happened to my conscience…I developed one, all be it at a glacial pace. Whatever happened to our merry band of miscreants…scattered to the four winds.